Thursday, 03 July 2014 00:00
Farmingdale women are backing up their sisters in the military, joining other women's groups in supporting a federal law to mitigate the appalling incidence of sexual assault in the military.
According to a recently released U. S. Department of Defense annual report, approximately 26,000 sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact incidents were reported in 2012—a 37% increase from 2011. At least 62 percent perceived some form of retaliation for pursuing charges.
The Women’s Club of Farmingdale (WCF), along with the Long Island Federation of Women’s Clubs (LIFWC) and approximately 25 women’s clubs from the Long Island/Metro area, have joined in support of
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) Military Justice Improvement Act (S.967) of 2013.
WCF Resolutions Committee Chair and Co-Chair, Frances Rotondo and Anna Ievolo, respectively, drew up a petition advocating legislation that would provide a fairer system for handling sexual assault cases for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to defend the freedoms and way of life Americans hold dear.
They presented the petition at the LIFWC Tri-County Conference held in May and collected 247 signatures. It was then mailed to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to lend another voice to her coalition as she continues to pursue her legislation when the Armed Services Committee begins work on a defense policy bill.
WCF members have also “taken action” via the national website by sending email and printed letters to legislators soliciting their support. This legislation would provide a change in the current system of prosecution, specifically in relation to sexual assault cases, by creating an independent, objective, and non-biased military justice system.
— Submitted by Maria Ortolani